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I can’t tell you how much better I feel this week! How much more connected. What a difference it can make to admit our relationship-sabotaging tendencies!

My tendency? Drifting…and feel free to read more about it here. If you can’t relate, it may be that you’re more inclined to drop anchor and hang on longer than you should {or tighter than some wish you would.} It can be a perplexing and surprisingly common dynamic, and regardless of whether you’re the avoider or the pursuer, the result always seems to be the same: a completely exhausting relationship.

Here’s how it works…as I see it. {Most of you already know this, but it bears repeating just in case anybody out there needs a little reminder.} The pursuer wants more attachment. {Nothing wrong with that, necessarily.} The avoider, or distancer, wants more autonomy. {Also OK, usually.} But, put the two together…and you almost always end up with a “run, run, as fast as you can” reaction from both…for two different reasons. One, to catch and hold. The other, to squirm free. And in the meantime, both run themselves ragged until they’re too exhausted to keep doing whichever one they’re inclined to do. {Makes me tired just thinking about it!}

The rest of the story usually goes something like this: the pursuer feels rejected and abandoned by the distancer’s reaction to feeling smothered and controlled. The pursuer responds by trying harder to reconnect while the avoider’s resistance is misinterpreted as a lack of love and commitment. Unchecked, each tendency becomes stronger and more entrenched as both parties feel more and more triggered by the fear that drives their particular behavior. And if you haven’t already guessed…the story doesn’t end well.

It’s helpful to know our tendency, but only if we do something with what we know, and figure out how to change what’s not working. Otherwise, it’s the same story over and over again…with the same unfortunate ending. Every. Single. Time. {Hate when that happens, don’t you?}

You’re probably waiting to hear some closing words of wisdom on all this, but guess what…? I can’t say for sure that I have any. All I know is…it helps to process this stuff with others, so thanks for listening. And if you happen to relate to one or the other of these tendencies…please do something about it. Notice what you do in your relationships. Be aware of what you’re feeling when you catch yourself wanting to run…in either direction. Admit the inclination, the feelings, and maybe even the need for a little help to figure out how to change if you’re completely exhausted by what you’ve always done.

And one last thing before you “run, run, as fast as you can.” Please do me a favor and take another look at the cover photo. Allow yourself one more moment to notice what you see, what you feel, and anything the image prompts inside. Then share it with a safe and wise hearer of your heart, and see what a difference it can make.

And as always, we’re here, too…week and week…and would love to hear from you…if you ever want to connect.